Jori : Helsott is a pagan metal group from the USA and for their second album ‘Slaves And Gods’ the band chose for an Egyptian theme. On the pretty cover shines a pyramid and on the intro we can hear some eastern sounds. While under the impression that I have a power metal album here, a good shot of grunts and typical low-tuned guitars make an end to that assumption. The CD opens with the title track and it seems as if the band accidently put a demo version of the song on the album. The song is literally stuffed with timing errors and the production is nothing if not total crap.
The problems are magically solved at number two, and it is here that you can get impressed by the music of Helsott. That might be due to the newly found alternation between grunts and clean vocals, one of the chief strong points of pagan metal. At ‘Winter Smells Like Death’ we suddenly hear a familiar voice, Masha of Arkona, one of the many guest musicians on the album. Next to Masha we can hear among others Damnagoras of Elvenking and our own Dutch Kevin Storm (Heidevolk). Too bad that Damna’s part is just that piece of bad ballad that is tormented by the still meagre production. In the meanwhile we are at song number five and that is about the end of the better part of the album. The last songs are either jumpy idiocy á la trollmetal or terribly cliché. And as a closer we have a cover that will actually make your ears bleed.
Helsott has some good ideas, but after writing three or four good songs they seemed to have rushed the album to full-length. Gentlemen, the next time I expect a CD without terrible fillers! With more songs like ‘The Cowards Curse’ and ‘Winter Smells Like Death’.